Target-Date Funds: Are You Using Them Correctly?

More middle class Americans are choosing to place their 401k money in target-date funds. In addition, a rising number of 401k plans use a target-date fund as its default investment. A target-date fund allows you to choose your expected retirement year (usually in five or ten year increments.) It then invests in stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents, re-balancing regularly depending on performance and proximity to your selected end date. Should you keep all your savings in a target-date fund? What are the pros and cons? A Case Study: Meet Eileen Eileen is 30 years old, and is excited about her new job with a consulting company. She worries a lot about her retirement, and gets nervous when she h

5 Money Questions 30-Somethings Should Ask Themselves

You just celebrated the big 3-0 and you feel that means it's time to get your finances in order. Your pesky student loans won't leave you alone. You worry you will never be able to retire. On top of that, you're still renting and feel jealous of your friend who just bought a condo. This monumental birthday is a good time to focus on getting on the financial path that is right for you. To get started, here are the five money questions you should ask. 1. Is there a smart way to pay off my student loans? Yes. If you work for the government or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, any outstanding federal student loans you have after 10 years can be forgiven. Call your student loan servicer to inquire about the

What Gives Me Inspiration?

“What successes have you achieved?” My business-savvy friend Pauline asked me. Was she referring to our financial planning firm’s revenue or profitability? As I was thinking about my answer, I saw flashes of faces – our clients whom I’ve had the privilege to work with over the past year. (Names below are not their real names.) Elizabeth. Elizabeth is in her 20s, and is doing great work in the field of education. She has been burdened with her auto loan for the past year. She does not use her car anymore since moving into the District, and would really like to get rid of it (and her loan). But she didn’t know how to get out of her lease, since the car’s value was less than the loan’s. She onl

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